If you have ordered a package on Amazon and received the dreaded “delayed in transit” notification, it means your shipment has encountered an unexpected impediment while in the process of being delivered to you.
Don’t panic yet! There are many potential reasons for shipping delays. This comprehensive guide will walk you through what an in-transit delay means, why packages get held up, and all your options as an Amazon seller or shopper when your delivery runs late.
Key Facts About Amazon Packages Delayed in Transit
When your tracking status shows “delayed in transit,” here is what you need to know:
- The package has shipped from Amazon but hit an obstacle en route to the delivery address.
- It does not necessarily mean the package is lost forever. Most delayed parcels are simply running behind schedule.
- Amazon will still attempt to get the package delivered as soon as the issue causing the delay is resolved.
- The length of the delay can range from a few hours to several days or even weeks, depending on the specific cause. Severe weather or peak holiday shipping demand can increase delays.
- If the delay causes the shipment to miss Amazon’s guaranteed delivery date, you may be eligible for a refund or credit under their A-to-Z guarantee policy.
Let’s explore the ins and outs of Amazon shipping and delays in more detail so you know what to do when packages take longer than expected.
Why Do Amazon Packages Get Delayed in Transit?
Many different factors can cause your Amazon order to encounter delays while in transit:
Severe Weather Disruptions
Blizzards, hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms, and other acts of God can block or slow down deliveries. Both the origin and destination regions matter – if Memphis distribution hubs are flooded, packages across many states may be affected.
Peak Holiday Demand
Christmas shopping crunches logistics networks. According to ShipMatrix data, on-time delivery rates typically drop 10-15% in December. Amazon volumes also peak around Prime Day.
If Amazon oversells an item that’s out of stock, it can take weeks to get more units in – delaying orders. Checking FBA inventory health helps avoid overselling as a seller.
Third Party Seller Errors
When 3P merchants ship their own orders, incorrect package info and labels delay handling. Ensure your prep and labeling is meticulous.
Loss or Damage
Unfortunately, some percentage of packages are lost or damaged in transit – about 0.04% for major carriers. Replacing lost items delays orders.
Incorrect Address Details
Recipient address errors account for about 15% of delayed packages according to UPS. Double check details at checkout.
Customs Clearance Lag
International Amazon orders must clear customs which takes 1-2 days on average. But backlogs can delay packages for a week or more.
UPS, USPS and FedEx interruptions trickle down, since over 85% of Amazon parcels ship via major carriers according to MWPVL data. Strikes or machinery issues can cause ripple effects.
Warehouse scanner outages, computer systems glitches and GPS problems can temporarily stall shipments.
Large or heavy products require special handling which slows processing time. Bulky items also take up more space, limiting transport and delivery capacity.
Wrong Package Size
Entering incorrect parcel sizes when shipping can require packages be re-routed to proper facilities, adding 1-2 days.
Missing Apartment Numbers
Not providing apartment or unit numbers for deliveries often results in delayed packages as drivers struggle to locate recipients.
How Often Are Amazon Packages Delayed?
The vast majority of Amazon orders ship on time. But delays do occur:
- 16% of Amazon Prime packages delivered between May and July 2022 faced delays according to PYMNTS.com analysis.
- External incidents like severe weather caused the highest rates of delays per PYMNTS data:
|Reason for Delay||% Packages Delayed|
- Specific metro areas with more congestion see higher rates of delays. NYC, LA, and Chicago are often problem spots.
- December order delivery is delayed for 15-20% of packages on average due to Christmas volumes.
- Computer glitches at Amazon delayed thousands of packages over the 2021 holiday season according to Bloomberg.
Delays are frustrating, but remember the scale of Amazon shipments – they deliver 2 billion parcels annually in the US! With sheer volume this massive, some transit hiccups are inevitable.
How to Track Amazon Packages Delayed in Transit
When your delivery hits a snag, tracking the movement and status in real-time is useful for diagnosing issues. Here are tips for monitoring packages delayed in transit:
Check Tracking on Amazon.com
For Amazon Logistics and AMZL packages, tracking on Amazon.com provides the most details. Sign into your account, select ‘Orders’ and click the tracking number of your package. This reveals:
- The origin, destination, and every scan along the route
- The current location – like arrival at a distribution hub
- Estimated and promised delivery dates
- The delivery address and recipient name
- Map views of the package journey
- Status like “Delayed in transit” with brief explanations
Amazon tracking should be monitored daily if your delivery is already running late to get the latest updates.
Use Carrier Tracking Tools
For UPS, FedEx and USPS packages, track directly on their websites for extra insight like:
- Expected delivery date ranges
- Delay types like “emergency situation”
- Delay locations like “Severe weather in Memphis”
- Customer service contact options
Reference the tracking number format (1Z999AA1012345678 for UPS, etc) to identify the carrier.
Contact Amazon Customer Service
If tracking seems stalled for 3-5 days with no updates, contact Amazon customer service via phone, chat or email. Explain your delivery is delayed with minimal tracking scans and politely ask if they can investigate with the carrier. Many times agents can get details that provide peace of mind on where your package is.
Request Carrier Intervention
If Amazon customer service cannot get clarity, you can contact carriers directly to create a Case for your delayed package. Provide the tracking number and any assisting details. For example, FedEx and UPS both have options to redirect packages to new destinations or requested delivery dates. There are fees involved, but it’s useful if you need a shipment urgently.
Staying patient yet proactive with tracking helps diagnose and resolve many delivery delays.
How to Contact Amazon About a Delayed Package
If your Amazon order remains stuck in transit beyond the expected delivery date, it’s time to contact customer service. To get answers about a delayed package:
Verify Eligibility for Guaranteed Delivery Refunds
Before contacting Amazon, check that your order qualifies for their A-to-Z guarantee. Eligible purchases:
- Are sold and shipped by Amazon directly, not third party sellers
- Show ‘Guaranteed Delivery’ at checkout
- Are over the $25 minimum order value
- Have missed the guaranteed delivery date
If eligible, you can request compensation.
Have Your Order Details Handy
Make sure you have all purchase details available when you contact Amazon:
- Your order number
- Recipient name and exact shipping address
- Date ordered
- Original estimated delivery date
- List of all items ordered
- Delivery status or tracking number
This helps agents investigate your situation faster.
Use Recommended Contact Methods
Reach out via:
- Phone: Call Amazon customer service at 888-280-4331 for real-time assistance.
- Chat: Initiate a chat session on Amazon’s website for documentation of the issue.
- Email: For ❄️ written records, email Amazon customer service.
- Social media: Tweet @amazonhelp to elevate severe cases.
Calling is best for urgent issues, while chat provides receipts you can reference later.
Explain the Situation Concisely
When connected with a rep, clearly explain:
- Your order’s guaranteed delivery date was missed
- How many days late the package is currently
- You’ve been checking tracking but there are minimal updates
- Politely request a refund or credit under the delivery guarantee
Provide tracking screenshots if helpful. Being ready with details gets your refund processed ASAP!
What to Do If Amazon Lost Your Package
Despite Amazon’s massive logistics operation, occasionally packages get lost or stolen in transit. If your tracking shows no updates for an extended period, your shipment may be lost. Here are the best steps if your Amazon order goes MIA:
Allow 2 Days Past Expected Delivery
Before reporting lost packages, allow 48 hours past the promised delivery date. Transit times fluctuate, so have patience.
Verify the Shipping Address Is Correct
Double and triple check that the address on your order matches the desired delivery location. Incorrect addresses commonly lead to lost parcels.
Review the Tracking History Thoroughly
Look for any scans or location updates – if there have been no tracking events for 4+ days, the package is likely lost.
Contact Amazon ASAP
Report lost packages to Amazon as soon as qualifying factors are met. This gets replacement orders sent so you receive your purchases.
Kindly Request a Refund
Ask Amazon to refund a lost shipment so you are not paying for items you won’t actually receive. Most reputable retailers like Amazon offer refunds for proven lost merchandise.
Submit a Missing Mail Search
If using USPS, submit a Missing Mail search on USPS.com. If found, they will deliver recovered packages free of charge.
With over 5 billion packages shipped worldwide annually across their network, Amazon has to expect some parcels won’t make it. While losses are uncommon, acting quickly improves outcomes when a package does disappear.
Will Amazon Provide Refunds for Delayed Packages?
One common question shoppers have is whether Amazon will provide refunds or credits if a package faces extensive delays in transit. Here are the key factors determining refund eligibility:
Guaranteed Delivery Refunds
Amazon will refund the order value when guaranteed delivery fails for eligible purchases. These credits are typically issued within 3-5 days.
Weather and Carrier Delays
Amazon will not offer refunds for common carrier disruptions or severe weather events slowing delivery. These issues are outside their control.
Third Party Seller Orders
Amazon is not liable to refund orders fulfilled directly by third party sellers, just their own first-party sales.
If an order shows no tracking updates for weeks, Amazon will refund as the package is likely lost.
If the delay is clearly the recipient’s fault, like an incorrect address Amazon will not issue refunds.
When delays happen, kindly contact Amazon Customer Service, provide your order details, and politely request a refund or credit. They aim to make customers whole when guaranteed or two-day delivery fails.
How to Handle Amazon UK Delivery Delays
Shoppers based in the UK may also experience package delays, and need to take region-specific actions:
Track Your Order on Amazon.co.uk
Sign into your account on the Amazon UK website or mobile app to check status.
Use Royal Mail Tracking
Since Royal Mail handles much of Amazon UK’s last-mile delivery, enter tracking numbers directly on their website at www.royalmail.com.
Contact the Correct Carrier
If sent via Parcelforce, Hermes or another carrier, contact them directly regarding delays.
Chat or Call Amazon UK Customer Service
Reach out to Amazon UK’s customer support by phone at 0800 496 1081 or via online chat.
Request a Courtesy Credit
Ask politely if Amazon UK can offer any credit for packages with excessive delays outside your control.
Return Undelivered Packages
You can request refunds on orders that remain undelivered more than 30 days past the estimated delivery date.
Monitor Social Media
Check @AmazonHelpUK for updates on any larger delivery disruptions impacting your area.
Communication is key to resolving Amazon UK delays – involve the right delivery player and tracing details.
In Conclusion: Don’t Panic Over Delayed Amazon Packages
Waiting anxiously for Amazon orders that get stuck in transit can be frustrating. But now that you know why delays happen, how to track packages, and when to request refunds, you can stay informed and take action.
As an Amazon seller, make sure your shipments follow Amazon’s preparation guidelines to avoid self-imposed delays. Provide delivery updates proactively to concerned customers.
Most importantly, remember that the majority of delayed packages do successfully complete their journey – they just need a nudge to get back on track. With over 2 billion parcels delivered annually in North America alone, some transit hiccups are inevitable – but Amazon’s logistics operations are designed to mitigate them.
So take a deep breath next time your tracking says “Delayed in transit.” Monitor it closely, but try not to stress excessively. Odds are your package is simply taking a brief detour before reaching your doorstep soon!